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Showing posts from December, 2019

Diversity

I attended a misa catolica tonight--a Spanish-language mass.

It was the anniversary of Jorge's mother's death. His grandmother usually has a deacon from the church come to her home to pray the rosary on the anniversary of her daughter's death, and I've joined them for that twice before. (After the first time I tried really hard to learn the Our Father and Hail Mary prayers in Spanish but they still went too fast for me!)This year, they had a memorial mass in the church.

If you've ever met me, you know that I couldn't possibly stink out more in a Spanish-language mass... or a Spanish-language anything. People turned to look as I walked to a pew because I am clearly not the target demographic.

I will always, always be grateful for my experience teaching in East Oakland because of how comfortable I am in neighborhoods where many people are afraid, as well as being totally comfortable being the only white person in a room.

I will also always be grateful for both m…

Empathy

Homelessness in the Bay Area is both a growing problem and a very divisive issue. Every time any kind of facility to help the unhoused in any way is proposed, there is a lot of very ugly rhetoric around what will happen if we do it.

The narrative is always something like, "Sure it's good to help people with no homes, but we shouldn't do it HERE, we should do it THERE. The needles! Our children! The drugs!" etc.

In the spring, I volunteered for a local measure that would allow a wellness and respite center for the unhoused. The center had the audacity to be near the beach! (sarcasm) which apparently would ruint he beach for everyone else, etc. etc. The opposition ran a very ugly campaign, with tons of fearmongering and lies.

My nephew came to visit and asked me about my Measure A sign. I explained to him, and he immediately said, "but in kindergarten, we learned that you have to help people. Why don't people want to help people who don't have houses?&quo…